Indie Books Worth Reading

I'm an indie writer, and a reader of indie fiction (mostly fantasy and science fiction). So I'm well aware of the wild-west reputation that indie fiction has.

Deservedly so, in many cases. The thing about publishing being easy is that you get a lot of crap published. But then, Sturgeon's Law states that 90% of everything is crap, and that's true of traditionally-published books too (they're just a bit more... processed).

Here's my list of indie-published novels that I have personally read and think are worth reading. (I've read a bunch of crap too, so you don't have to.) I've given these books four or five stars on Goodreads, and I'm a harsh reviewer. Not all of them are without editing flaws, or other flaws, for that matter, but they have other virtues that, in my opinion, make up for those flaws. (Also, I'm a kind of quantum observer of the editing of indie books: I send the authors lists of edits, and most of them get back to me very quickly and say they've fixed them, so my review often alters the thing reviewed.)

Many of these are also available on as free audiobooks in podcast format (usually read by the author). I've linked them accordingly. In most cases, where there's a Podiobooks link that's how I consumed the book, so I can't comment on how well edited the ebook version is. I can tell you, though, that I enjoyed the story.

The links to Amazon and Smashwords are not affiliate links. My motivation here is to connect readers to books I think are good, and support indie authors.

Tip: The genre tags are also links. If you click a genre, it will reload the page, filtered just to the entries tagged with that genre.

If you find this list useful, and want to be notified when books are added, sign up using the form in the sidebar and I'll email you whenever I find a new indie book I recommend.

AuthorTitleGenre RatedLinksComments
Andy GavinUntimed alternate-history, time travel, YA ***** ReviewAmazonBelievable YA characters have to fix history after accidentally breaking it.
James CalbraithThe Shadow of Black Wings alternate-history, fantasy, steampunk, YA **** ReviewAmazonPodiobooksSteampunk dragonriders. Need I say more?
L.J. CohenThe Between contemporary, fantasy, YA **** ReviewSmashwordsAmazonReboots the Fae.
L.J. CohenDerelict SF, space opera, YA **** ReviewAmazon

Old-style space opera with a well-motivated YA cast and a plot like a Swiss watch.

Larry KollarWater and Chaos fantasy, secondary-world, YA **** ReviewSmashwordsAmazonLoyal, brave, resourceful young sorcerer's apprentice goes on a mission to thwart rogue magic users.
Larry KollarThe Sorcerer’s Daughter fantasy, secondary-world, YA **** ReviewSmashwordsAmazonDetermined young woman isn't going to let being heir to a noble house change her mind on what's really important.
Masha du ToitCrooks and Straights contemporary, fantasy, YA **** ReviewAmazonSet in an alternate South Africa, with magical people and beings and a sinister political movement that wants to control or eliminate them.
Ripley PattonGhost Hand contemporary, fantasy, YA **** ReviewAmazonPitch-perfect teenagers dealing with strange powers and sinister men who hunt them.
Ripley PattonGhost Hold contemporary, fantasy, YA **** ReviewAmazonBook 2 in a series (read Ghost Hand first), in which things get very dire for our snarky heroine with the bodyless hand.

Indie authors may be asking "How do I get on this list?"

I'm afraid the answer is "write a good book, make it known by the usual legitimate channels, and wait for me to discover it for myself". I'm not currently doing reviews by request, because I was getting too many requests, and most of them were for books I wouldn't have chosen to read and didn't like much. Sorry.

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